Unlocking Therapeutic Symphonies: Innovations in Clinical Decision Support for Drug-Disease Interactions in Kidney Transplantation

Chonoor Shakiba, Ayda Esmaeili, Habibollah Pirnejad, Zahra Niazkhani



Introduction: Drug-disease interactions (DDSIs) are associated with increasing morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. These interactions are preventable if recognized and managed properly. Medication safety is critical in kidney transplant patients due to polypharmacy, co-morbidities, and susceptibility to adverse events. Clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) can play a key role therein. Therefore, this study aims to report on the process of developing an innovative, patient-centered, context-aware CDSS for managing DDSIs in kidney recipients.

Material and Methods: Clinically important DDSIs were identified in the medications of patients at a kidney transplant outpatient clinic. Subsequently, rules for their detection and management were extracted based on pharmacology references and clinical expertise. A CDSS was developed and piloted following recommendations on medication CDSS design principles.

Results: The knowledge base for this CDSS was developed with clinical context sensitivity. We defined priority levels for alerts, established associated display rules, and determined necessary actions based on the transplantation clinical workflow. The DDSI-CDSS correctly detected 37 DDSIs and displayed nine warnings and 28 cautionary alerts for the medications of 113 study patients (32.7% DDSI rate). The system fired three warnings for diltiazem in bradyarrhythmia, and two for each of the following medications and underlying diseases: aspirin in asthma, erythropoietin alfa in hypertension, and gemfibrozil in gall bladder disease. The potential consequences of the identified DDSIs were GI complications (17%), deterioration of the existing disease/condition (6.1%), and an increased risk of arrhythmias (2.6%), thrombosis (2.6%), and hypertension (1.7%). Complying with system alerts and recommendations would potentially prevent all these DDSIs.

Conclusion: This study delineates the process of developing an evidence-based DDSI-CDSS for kidney transplantation, laying the groundwork for future advancements. Our results underscore the clinical significance of these interactions and emphasize the imperative for their accurate and timely detection, particularly in these vulnerable patients.


Clinical Decision Support Systems; CDSS; Drug-Disease Interactions; Patient Safety; Kidney Transplantation;


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v13i0.547


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